Sunday, February 23, 2014

First Ride of the Year

Its been a rough winter.

How rough I hadn't realized until I took my first ride of the year on Saturday. Before I get all deep and philosophical let me say a couple things. This was the first day out for my Goggles That I built and I got to say they were a hit. Check out the video on Instagram. (and follow me while you're there) This is only phase one. My goal is to add lights to the helmet as well. (more on that in a future post.) Next I want to talk about the gaping holes in the road that I was afraid of even on B.O.B my bigass mountain bike.

These are not potholes. You can’t pay to ride a donkey to the bottom on a pothole! Just saying

On my ride I met old friends and new ones. As I was riding across the hot metal bridge (one of my favorite views of town) I met up with Marko (Old Friend) and Rusty Red (New Friend and so happy about it) and we rode around stopped at thick bikes where the southside soup crawl was in full swing. Again it was so good to connect with friends I have missed. I could feel my soul beginning to unwind. That was when I began to realize just how hard this winter was for me. The Poet part of me would talk about how hungry my eyes had become, how I didn't realize I was starving until I feasted on the company of my cycling friends.

Don’t get me wrong, I am very lucky to have the friends I do have. At church, at work, and my family. I am surrounded by people who care. It is just that I had lost a huge group of people I cared about and all the time I was missing them I was thinking it’s OK

when it wasn’t

My mind knew, My body knew, I was the only one who didn’t figure it out. I can look back on my Facebook posts and find those times when I felt alone, and angry.  I can remember the many many posts I deleted before they got posted because I felt they were too negative. When I was riding into town to go to Wingharts (great pizza, great cocktails) I had what I’m calling a moment of clarity. It wasn't that trumpets in the sky, the clouds parting, and angels coming down from on high. It was someone I know riding the trail in the other direction. I wanted to turn around and head the other way.

I didn't. I’m still angry with myself.

The truth is I battle this all the time. I know I have talked about it before and I will, no doubt, talk about it again. It is strange to be surrounded by so many people who really care about me and at the same time feel so alone and end up focusing on that hole in my life. While my cycling friends don’t fill that hole, they do help.

They help a lot.

This post has gotten a little uncomfortable for me and the truth is part of me wants to just delete the whole thing and start over, or at least edit out the parts that make me uncomfortable. I promised myself yesterday when I had my Moment of clarity that I would be honest with myself, and with all of you. So as this winter finally begins to loosen its grip and I face up to some of the foolish choices I have made I can only look toward the coming months with excitement and determination.

Next time I’m turning around.

Thanks Guys You mean the world to me.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Planet Bike Cascadia Fenders

What do you get when you start with might just be the greatest bike ever made (that would be the All-City Macho Man Disc) and you add some slick white fenders?

Eventually you get big bag of Awesome wrapped and a bag made from baby unicorns!

Did you catch it. "Eventually" I'll get to that but first lets get to the data, since I'm all about the Data.
 bought the Planet Bike Cascadia Fenders in White from Thick Bikes for 50.99 (Minus my Bike Pittsburgh discount ) I got the fenders as well as instructions and all the mounting hardware I would need. I figured it would be a breeze.

I had two issues while putting the front fender on. First the geometry of the Macho Man meant when I got the fender on and adjusted the metal support posts where so long as to need an inch cut off of each to keep them from hitting the frame.

The Posts after I removed about 1 1/4" off of each. Of all the tools I thought I would need to install a fender on my bike, a hack saw wasn't on that list. I will say that as difficult as the posts were to cut I got give it to them for quality.  The other  item that I found annoying was the Disc brake on the front tire was / is in the way of the support posts and I had to work around it. It worked fine so I'm happy but I did have to try it several times to get it right

The rear fender went on without much fuss and I have to just say this again  "DAMN THAT'S SEXY!!!" There is one thing I am currently wondering about. With the front fender I wont to see where the J-bar from the bike racks on our buses end up. A fender is no good if it means I can't put my bike on the bus. If it is a problem I am pretty sure I can figure something out.

It took about an hour for me to put the Fenders on the bike, and if I had to do it again I might make it simple on myself and take the Bike to Thick and get the fenders put on. Right now I'm pretty sure I have the fenders on right but I would of let them do I would be Completely Sure the fenders are on right.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Treasure Your Love

This post isn't bike related but I have been going through a lot in the past few months and I have to do something while it is single digit degrees out there.

(Come on warmer weather!)

Today was writers group at the library by my house and after a long break we are back with a vengeance (4 people suck on that!) We had a valentine's prompt and I was not looking forward to it but it worked out well. It seems the inside me knew more about what was going on with me the outside me. I was expecting the usual "love sucks" to come flowing out of me. What I got instead made me realize that just maybe I've started liking myself just a little. Enjoy

Treasure your love
You only get so much
and when it’s gone
It’s Gone

Don’t ask
Don’t Tell
Don’t feel
Don’t care
Just act

Just reach out
Just take a Freaking chance

A chance to smile
A chance to cry
A chance to change
Take a Freaking Chance
Any Chance

To take this day after day
of so called life
and make it your Bitch
Or better yet
Trade Life for living
Trade safety for Uncertainty

You know that feeling
“That everything is OK”
Dead people feel that
Smile for no reason
Love without Question
Stare into the Sun

Treasure your Love
Wonder where you’ll sleep tonight?
Or better yet with who?
Go hungry
Get drunk
Find a pretty Girl so out of your class it hurts
and Kiss her.

That’s right
all bets are off now

This is real
180 proof
It burns going down
But it keeps me warm

No nets
No waivers
No backup plans
Just the idea that life’s worth living

Just the idea that life is worth living
Is so foreign as to cause palpitations
“Could you hand me my inhaler, thanks”

Treasure your love
Become a memory
Create a story
That one time when
you did that thing that was really stupid
and you have no idea why you're still alive and out of jail
Do it again.

Be reckless
Live life
Because you only get so much
And when its gone
Its Gone

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Go Red Event

Last night (Friday Feb 7th 2014) was the Go Red Event held yet again at OTB. The goal is to raise money to fight heart disease. I have a strong belief that you should always be looking for ways to reach outside of yourself and do things to help others. Plus you get to help kick heart disease in the balls.

Anytime I get the chance to kick Heart disease in the balls, well I’m going to take that chance.

Let me take a moment to tell you about the organizer Meg. 2 years ago she had to have open heart surgery. Which isn’t something a wonderful woman in her 20’s should have to face. A thing like this could have broken the spirit of anyone. Spirit is something Meg has in abundance. I am honored to know and humbled to be able to help make the night a success in whatever small way I could. FGOB provided one of the prices for the raffles and I showed up, had fun and bought more than my share of Jello Shots

Or as I call them “My Kryptonite”

I don’t know how much money was raised and the truth is the money isn’t as important as what else I saw. Spirit, lots of spirit. People coming together not just to drink and have fun and hang out with friends after a long cold winter. These people came to support Meg and make a statement

(for some of the drunker ones that statement was F*** CANCER!!)

People can be so Amazing and Wonderful! This is something I have come to believe more and more over the past few years. Over and over again I have watched as someone steps up and does the unbelievable. So when I left the Party (far too early) I left with the feeling that I had been a part of something that was in a word


Monday, February 3, 2014

Open letter to walgreens

This would be the sidewalk infront of the walgreens by my house Saltsburg Road Penn Hills.
The one I walk past twice a day. Notice if you will that that everything is clear of snow and ice except the sidewalk. The road, the parking lot, the handicapped ramp. But not the sidewalk it empties onto. I know they are capable of clearing said sidewalk, the last four times I complained this year the side walk was cleared. That means they are able to do it. It also means they are Unwilling To do it.

This is insulting.

Here is a copy of the email I sent Walgreens, and at this point I am kind of hoping some manager loses his or her job.

"The sidewalk in front of your store is snow covered and icy. please explain to me why you think it is ok to remove the snow from the handicapped ramp only to have said ramp empty onto a snow covered, icy sidewalk. I have seen from the other times I have written to alert you to this that the sidewalk is them cleared of snow. 

This shows me that you are capable of acting properly just unwilling to do so.

This is the Fourth or Fifth time I have written and I find it seriously upsetting that you would so boldly flaunt your lack of respect for the people of your neighborhood with your unwillingness to keep your sidewalk clear of snow and ice. At this point it has become little more than an insult that you so easily disregard the safety of those who live and shop in this area.

Two things before I finish
1 Rite Aid across the street was out at 6am salting their sidewalk (I noticed on my way to work)
2. You can find a copy of this letter on my blog at Just look for post titled Open Letter to Walgreens.

Do the responsible thing and take care of your sidewalk.
Terry Bruce "

Nothing is going to change unless you are willing to stand up and demand change.